Take A Mulligan: Sheda Reunion & Fall Festival

A couple weeks ago, September 4 and 5, to be exact, a whole bunch of Shedas gathered in the old stomping grounds of Chelsea, Iowa to reminisce of the “good ol’ days.” And they were indeed good. We all met on that Saturday for a Memorial Mass in honor of our Grandad, Anton A. Sheda, who came over from Czechoslovakia, with his brother around 1900 and resided in a great little community of Bohemes called Chelsea.

From there came Sheda’s Restaurant, Sheda’s Tavern, Sheda’s Flea Market, Sheda’s Fur Trading and probably a couple other businesses along the way.

Helping along with this Memorial Mass was none other than Deacon Joe Behounek, (who has plenty of Sheda blood in him too), which was quite an honor.

Thanks Joe for all your help setting this up. Some have a very hard time remembering the old days, that Joe is now a Deacon and I somehow became a Pentecostal Pastor.

And people say there is no God. Not only is there a God, but He has a tremendous sense of humor, don’t you think?

After the Mass, the group headed down to the Silver Dollar, which one person told me was also known as the “North Side Church”.

Boy, walking through that door, brought back a flood of memories. A lot of Pivo was drank in this establishment. Not by me of course, but all of my friends!

The Silver Dollar has changed a little bit, but not that much. Reminded me of that TV show, Cheers, where everybody knows your name.

Again, I was brought back to those good old days.

We took over the back room, ordered some food and beverages and the stories began. For some strange reason, my 14-year-old grand-daughter wanted to come along, which thrilled Deb and me to pieces until the stories began to flow as freely as the beverages.

Ah, Diet Pepsi for me.

Most of the stories shot my way started out something like this, “Hey Sheda, do you remember when?”

It was during these times that Deb usually covered my grand-daughter’s ears so as not to hear the lies that were being spewed out all over the place.

Well, maybe not lies, but embellishments for sure.

It was a long time ago, I told Kieryn, and grandpa’s changed a lot since then.

There was much laughter all through the back room as everyone was filling the place with a variety of stories, tall tales and wonderful memories of our growing up in Chelsea. Have I mentioned that these were the good old days?

And not only that, they were perhaps some of the best days of our lives. Mine for sure. It was good to reconnect with my two brothers, Tone and Larry and their spouses, Paulette and Sandy, and my sister, Mary Sue. We don’t get together that much anymore so it was great seeing them. Then there were a bunch of cousins that visited also. What a great time! But it wasn’t over.

On Sunday, Sept. 5, we all enjoyed a great Boheme dinner at St. Joseph’s Annual Fall Festival. “Mmmm, mmmm, mmm (burp)” is all I have to say about that!

At this time it was so nice to reconnect with everyone in Chelsea. It was especially wonderful to reintroduce myself to Leonard and Florence Balvin and some of their family. Leonard and Florence go way back when my folks were still around. It was great talking to you two.

Well, it is about time to wrap this up. We might do it all over again next year.

Let me know if that’s a good idea or not at jsheda@indytel.com or call me at 319-327-4640. Love to hear some more memories of growing up in Chelsea.

John Sheda is a pastor for the Living Water Church in Independence. He is a native of Chelsea, Iowa and a South Tama County alumni (Class of 1969).